Column by Gloucestershire mindfulness coach Nicky Ferry.

You don’t need me to tell you that we are living through extraordinarily uncertain times.

And it is very natural for us to become anxious in the face of uncertainty.

We very easily tend to fear what we don’t understand and there are very many unknowns in our current situation.

It is also very natural in the face of perceived threat, for unconscious fears to be triggered – that is, underlying fears that have nothing to do with the pandemic.

And when this is the case it can be hard to see clearly.

Furthermore, unfortunately fear and anxiety tend to compromise our immunity, which is yet another reason why it is so important to address.

So what can help us?

1. Firstly and most simply it can be extremely helpful to take a step back and just breathe. Focusing on slow, deep breathing is one of the quickest ways to calm down and activate the parasympathetic nervous system – which is in charge of rest, recuperation and healing. It will release calming hormones, boost your immunity and signal to your body and mind that you are safe.

2. Immediately cut your intake of news right down. Much of the reporting of Covid-19 is fear inducing and inflammatory. Also it can be very addictive.

3. Allow yourself to suspend belief in all information. When we are in fear we can easily believe in our own anxious thoughts as well as any conclusions that we might come to. However if we unstuck ourselves from our beliefs, pause and allow there to be some space, not only do we become less anxious, in this space we can allow for other perspectives, new ideas and our own intuition to emerge. If we focus less on outer sources of information and our reactions to it, then we can tap into our own innate intelligence and what we know instinctively to be right.

4. Get moving, eat healthy, sleep well and laugh much – all of which release feel-good hormones.

  • Nicky Ferry is a mindfulness coach and offers weekly meditations over Zoom by donation through Covid-19: Visit